Saturday, May 3, 2014

CHAMOMILE TEA


Chamomile Tea
Photo by nomorota / CC BY


Chamomile Flower
Photo by laurennnn / CC BY


Dried Chamomile Flower
Photo by hennasooq / CC BY


Baby Sleeping
Photo by driki / CC BY


Chamomile Flower Harvest
Photo by 64148767@N00 / CC BY


Strain Chamomile
Photo by ericabreetoe / CC BY



 




OTHER NAMES: chamomile (British spelling)
 
Chamomile is a flower or herb that was traditionally used for medicinal purpose. The plant can be used in forms of tea, liquid extract, tinctures (concentrated in alcohol), creams, and ointments. Chamomile tea is commonly used to aid sleep, release stress, and help digestion.

FLAVOR

Chamomile has a very aromatic, earthy, fruity flavor by itself. It is popular to add honey, lemon, mint, lemongrass, lavender, etc.  

HISTORY

The word "chamomile" derives from Greek χαμαίμηλον, meaning “earth apple.” [1] Known since Roman times for their medicinal properties, chamomile has been used as antispasmodics and sedatives in the treatment of digestive and rheumatic disorders. Its tea was traditionally used to treat parasitic worm infections, and as hair tints and conditioners. [2]

HEALTH BENEFITS

Many people drink Chamomile Tea to aid sleep, but it also benefits people who have digestive disorders, stress, cold, upset stomach, morning sickness, menstrual cramps, type 2 diabetes, and many more:[3]
  • Antioxidant protection: chamomile tea (as well as most green, white, and herbal tea) slows aging process 
  • Blood Thinning:  improving circulation, encouraging healthy blood vessels, and providing protection against cardiovascular disease.
  •  Potential to fight and prevent Cancer such as breast cancer cells or leukemia cancer cells
  • Inflammatory Conditions: soothe the pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis, relieve hay fever, reduce and soothe painful hemorrhoids, heal periodontitis, ease inflammatory bowel disease 
  • Dental: painful gums, gingivitis, canker sores, and toothaches.
SIDE EFFECTS

Other concerns about drinking Chamomile tea includes: [4]
  •  According to US National Institutes of Health,  Chamomile tea can cause uterine contraction or even miscarriage. They recommend women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should avoid Chamomile drink or food.  
  • People who are allergic to ragweed, asters, chrysanthemums, and other plants of the Asteraceae family should avoid chamomile in general. [5]
  • It may have side effect if combining with other herbal remedies or medications such as anti-platelets (like aspirin), anticoagulants (like warfarin), or diabetic medications 
  • Don’t drive after drinking Chamomile tea because it has mild sedative effects that can cause drowsiness
  • Overdose may cause nausea or even vomiting
PREPARATION

It is not difficult to prepare a chamomile tea yourself if you plant your own chamomile flower. 
  1. Harvest flowers in the morning because the flowers are fresh from the night's rest and haven't been exposed to a day of warmth.
  2. Soak the fresh flowers with cool water and gently remove any insects.
  3. Sieve off any debris that floats to the surface and soak flowers for a few minutes
  4. Strain flower and remove excess water from flower. 
  5. Dry them under the sun until dried
  6. Brew dried flower with hot water for 15 minutes
According to Ryan's Garden, he dries chamomile flower with an oven instead of under the sun, which can completely avoid insects and dusts during drying process. [6]